Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) who is probing the case of Gauri Lankesh now suspects that the group’s next target was KS Bhagwan, a critic of the Hindu religious system. The Hindu Yuva Sena leader KT Naveen Kumar, who is suspected to have provided arms and logistical support for the Lankesh’s killing was arrested by the Bengaluru police for illegal possession of bullets on February 18.
“During the course of the investigation, we have had reason to believe that the group which is suspected of killing Gauri Lankesh was planning to kill KS Bhagwan next. The suspicion is that Naveen was providing the weapon for killing their next target to one of the team members when the Central Crime Branch arrested him on February 18,” a close source to the team told The News Minute.
“Currently, it is only a suspicion but once we have gathered more evidence to link the gunrunner we are questioning, we can divulge more information about how the weapons were procured. We have submitted some evidence gain and during the investigation in a sealed envelope to the court, which is why the court extended the date of Naveen Kumar’s custody with the police. We suspect that the gunrunner in question had provided the weapon to Naveen, who was to deliver it to one of his team members. Naveen Kumar had full knowledge of the team’s plan to kill Gauri Lankesh,” the SIT source said.
KT Naveen Kumar was arrested in February possessing 15 rounds of .32 calibre live cartridges which are the equivalent of 7.65 mm cartridges. According to the investigators, plan to murder Bhagwan with a different weapon may be a possible attempt to divert attention from the Gauri Lankesh case. The probe had suggested that she was shot with a 7.65 mm country-made gun, that was also used to kill Kannada literary scholar MM Kalburgi in August 2015 and Govind Pansare in February 2015.